A hip replacement surgery may be necessary for workers with severe hip pain following a work-related accident or occupational condition. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states that those who may need this surgery are those who have hip joint damage that causes pain and that interferes with daily activities despite other treatments. Workers involved in an accident – such as a slip and fall – or who developed a repetitive motion injury due to workplace tasks may be good candidates for hip replacement surgery.
Hip replacement surgeries are expensive and require a worker to take time off of work. Workers’ compensation should offer compensation for both medical expenses and disability benefits.
Will workers’ compensation pay for my hip replacement surgery?
In Iowa, workers' compensation covers medical expenses of workers who sustain a work-related injury or occupational illness. An employer must pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care to treat a work-related injury/illness. This includes any costs of necessary surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, and even transportation reimbursement at a rate of 56 cents per mile. This includes the costs associated with a hip replacement.
Other Benefits Workers with an Injured Hip May Recover
In addition to medical benefits, which will pay for the cost of surgery and related expenses, a worker can also qualify for disability benefits through workers’ compensation while recovering. A worker who misses work for a work-related injury (or in this case, a worker who is rehabilitating from a surgery necessary to correct a work-related injury) may be eligible for temporary total disability benefits. These are available if the worker misses at least three days of work; the first seven days are compensable if the worker misses 14 days.
A worker may recover temporary partial disability if he returns to work but earns less than his pre-injury wages.
An injured worker may also recover healing period benefits while recuperating from an injury that produces a serious impairment – the benefits will continue until the employee returns to work, the employee returns to a job of similar tasks and compensation, or it is determined that the employee’s injury will not improve. Some may recover permanent total disability if unable to go back to work. Others may recover permanent partial disability if they suffer a permanent impairment because of their hip injury. Hip injuries are unscheduled member injuries, which affects disability benefits.
How do I file a claim for medical and disability benefits?
In order to receive medical and disability benefits for a work injury and hip replacement surgery, you will have to file a workers’ compensation claim. To do this, it is essential that you report your injury to your employer within 90 days of becoming aware of the injury. If it is a repetitive motion injury, then you must report it within 90 days of becoming aware of the injury.
You must be able to provide medical documentation of your hip injury. And if you are claiming permanent partial disability, your physician – whom your employer can choose – will have to provide a disability rating, which affects the benefits you can recover. You can request an independent medical examination if you don't agree with the employer-chosen physician's rating.
Seek Legal Support for Help with Your Workers' Compensation Claim
A hip replacement surgery is a serious procedure. It can take weeks or even months to recover from the injury. Some suffer permanent impairment because of the injury. If you need medical or disability benefits from your employer during this time, an attorney can help you file your workers’ compensation claim or appeal a denied claim. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we are ready to help you. Call us today at (888) 435-9886 or contact us online.